F1506: The Standard Performance Specification by ASTM for FR Garments

ASTM

ASTM

With the increase in number of electrical and chemical industries, the job opportunities have also increased for workers skilled in these areas. Obviously, this is good news for many workers out there, but the bad news is that the number of fire burn injuries and deaths has also increased to an alarming level in many such industries. The main reason behind all such casualties is insufficient workplace safety. Electrical workers need proper work wear, which should be fire-resistant, but this is also a harsh fact that in many cases the industrial personnel is provided by fire-resistant work-wear, which is not able to protect them effectively against momentary electric arcs.

Keeping in view these facts, the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) has established F1506 in order to provide a standard performance specification for fire-resistant work-wear utilized by electrical workers who are exposed to many thermal related hazards and electric arcs. This is a simple, clear and precise pass and fail standard to check the performance of flame resistant work apparels. The main standard requirements of a fire-resistant fabric according to F1506 are ability to self-extinguish with a 2 seconds after-flame, a 6” char length and an ability to conform to these standards even after 25 washes or dry cleaning. Another performance specification of such fire-resistant fabrics is colorfastness even after laundering or dry cleaning. Strength of the fabric is also tested for tear resistance, seam slippage and breaking load characteristics.

The test methods and performance specifications under this standard are currently subjected to modification, specifically to make an acceptable bench scale arc test for laboratory and other thermal tests for more effectiveness. Moreover, it is highly recommended that this standard should not be utilized to describe the fire risk of materials; instead, it should be utilized to describe and evaluate the properties of the products in relation to flame under controlled laboratory conditions. The results of such evaluation can then be used as a basis to assess fire risks regarding materials used in flame-resistant clothing.

It should be very clear to you that this standard does not claim to address all of the safety concerns and it is recommended to all the concerned persons that apart from using this standard set some rules and regulations to ensure the workplace safety. Many reliable safety work-wear brands out there in the market are complying with these standards such as all Carhartt flame-resistant garments conform to the ASTM F1506 requirements. This is very relieving and positive aspect of many of such famous brands. So now, it is up to you that how you ensure the safety of your industrial personnel against fire hazards. If you are a responsible employer, then you are certainly concerned about the safety of your employees. There are many safety worker-wears available at WorkingPerson.com, which comply with ASTM F1506.

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